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Report: Kings interested in Nerlens Noel

Nerlens Noel would provide Sacramento with some much needed rim protection

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Detroit Pistons v Milwaukee Bucks

The Sacramento Kings are one of a few teams interested in veteran big man Nerlens Noel, according to James Edwards of The Athletic.

Edwards writes that they aren’t the only team to pursue him, however:

League sources, who were granted anonymity so that they could speak freely, have told The Athletic that the Pistons are looking to move the veteran big man. Both sides have agreed that a deal is best for both parties, and Detroit has already had talks with rival teams about Noel. Portland, Sacramento, Miami and Dallas have been the teams most engaged when it comes to acquiring the 28-year-old.

Noel has barely played for the cellar-dwelling Detroit Pistons this season after performing well on his last team, the New York Knicks.

A trade for Noel would be more of a move on the margins, but still one that could help Sacramento. Noel provides more rim protection than anyone on the current roster and would work well as a backup center behind Domantas Sabonis.

As a team, Sacramento ranks second to last in the league in blocked shots, and Noel would undoubtedly help in that category, with a career average of 2.4 blocks per 36 minutes in his career.

On offense, Noel is limited to being a rim runner, a put-back guy you don’t run plays for.

From a cap perspective, Sacramento would probably have to send back Richaun Holmes or a combination of Terence Davis and Alex Len in any trade to match salary numbers. The Pistons wouldn’t really be making the trade for the players the Kings send back, but rather whatever draft compensation (likely a second-rounder) Sacramento is willing to give up.

Noel is making roughly $9 million for this year with a team option for around the same number next season, meaning anyone acquiring him would have flexibility on Noel’s future with the team in the 2023-24 season.

Expect Sacramento to be continued to be mentioned in players like Noel, who can help the team’s playoff push while also not depleting their asset pool going forward.